New access to historic Donegal graveyard

New access to the Paupers' Graveyard in Ballyshannon will be officially opened this evening, Tuesday, August 22nd.

Barry Sweeny


Barry Sweeny


New access to historic Donegal graveyard

The new plaque erected at the Paupers' Graveyard.

The Paupers’ Graveyard on Mullinashee in Ballyshannon is a site of breathtaking beauty, horrific history and of tremendous tales.

From fairy kings to Ulster Chieftains, to battles and burials including 1,000 Famine victims there are many stories about this magical place.

The graveyard has been inaccessible for many years but in recent times the Ballyshannon Regeneration Group has undertaken to create a new access route. Now locals and visitors can take a stroll up and explore this intriguing site.

“It’s really just a field when you get up” says Barry Sweeny who has been volunteering on the project, “but the history and legend that surrounds you and lies beneath your feet is amazing. The views are outstanding and it’s easy to see why the site was chosen as a strategic fort, the seat of a High King or even a fairy palace!"

The new access path to the Paupers' Graveyard has been completed.

Official Opening

The official opening the new access route will take place during National Heritage Week today, Tuesday 22nd August, at 7pm. Meeting point is McGinley’s Bar on Bishop Street. A short presentation will be followed by a visit to the graveyard with a few stories by historian, Anthony Begley.

The Regeneration Group are planning to start planting 1,000 daffodils to remember 1,000 famine victims by 1,000 people. Each person will be invited to plant a bulb before their return to McGinley’s Bar where refreshments will be served.

The short walk is of moderate difficulty and is uneven underfoot so suitable footwear is recommended. It is not suitable for buggies or wheelchair access.


Thanks is due to the landowners for their cooperation on the project, to Ballyshannon Town Council who assisted financially, to Donegal County Council for their help, to the trades people and craftsmen who worked on the job and the volunteers through the Regeneration Group for all their time and effort.